Finished! i had exactly the right amount of pastry cream. Once the croquembouche was assembled I only had five leftover puffs. Not bad.
The caramel was a little nervewracking. I ended up wearing a pair of leather gloves, and a good thing too because I got caramel on my hands a number of times. After I did the intial dip and build of the tree, I went back and filled in the gaps with more puffs and used a ladle to drizzle caramel on those extra puffs. i used almost all of the caramel.
I will report back one more time, after it is actually eaten. Happy New Year!
pate a choux puffs are done. This recipe worked just fine for me, no problems at all.
Since this recipe is going to be such a project I thought I would post pictures of the steps and then edit this post to reflect my progress. Today I whipped the ricotta and made the pastry cream for the filling (I am assembling and serving tomorrow). I have to mention that the cream took a whole lot longer than 2-3 minutes to thicken! I would say it took mine 15 minutes of constant whisking and temperature checking to get it to 165. Plus my thermometer was acting wonky--the first time it read at 165 the cream was still entirely liquid. A switch to a backup thermometer and a lot more whisking finally got it to thicken.
I am a little nervous about being burned by the caramel tomorrow based on the reviews, so I am going to try and assemble it while wearing ove-gloves. I'll post on my results!